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April 24 - Newberry, FL - Brady Ellison, Khatuna Lorig, Reo Wilde and Jamie Van Natta are all atop the current rankings for their categories following an intense two-day opener for the World Archery Championships Team Trials. This weekend's event was the first in a two-part Trials series designed to select the team that will represent the United States at the World Archery Championships in Torino, Italy in July.
The eight archers in each category are competing for three team member spots. Selected based on their scores from the Qualifying Round at the Easton Foundations Gator Cup, competitors earned ranking points for those scores, as well as for Round Robin matches won during the Trials, their three arrow average score, and three-arrow average points.
Ellison led the eight male recurve archers currently battling for spots on the team, establishing a solid lead. Following Ellison in the rankings after today's matches are Jacob Wukie, Joe Fanchin, Jake Kaminski, Vic Wunderle, Thomas Stanwood, Nick Kale and Butch Johnson, in that order.
Lorig, a four-time Olympian, shot well enough today to top the women's recurve rankings by two points. Fellow Olympians Jennifer Nichols and Karen Scavotto, as well as Heather Koehl, Miranda Leek, Holly Stover, Lori Cieslinski and Sarah Chai follow her.
There was equally tough competition on the compound side of the field. Reigning World Champion Reo Wilde made clear his intention to attempt to reclaim that title by establishing a strong initial lead in today's rankings. Following Wilde is Braden Gellenthien, Jesse Broadwater, Shane Wills, James Butts, Ben Cleland, Logan Wilde and Cody Thompson.
Jamie Van Natta has also claimed a four and a half point lead in the compound women's rankings to lead her category; Kailey Johnston, Christie Colin, Erika Anschutz, Paige Pearce, Sarah Lance, Diane Johnston and Carli Cochran are currently occupying the number two through eight spots.
The Trials will continue next month in Bloomfield, New Jersey, held in conjunction with the Gold Cup, the season's third USAT Qualifier Series Event. The same eight archers per category will follow the same Trials process at the next event, which means that there is room for movement within the top ranks established today.
Torino, Italy will be the site of the 2011 World Archery Championships. In addition to being one of the world's most important target archery competitions, the Championships have another significance for the United States: Torino is where archers from the U.S. will seek to qualify quota spots for the 2012 Olympic Games. According to procedures published by World Archery, the top 8 men's and women's recurve teams will each earn three quota spots. Complete details of the qualifying process are available at http://www.archery.org.
Serious talent abounds in each category; three archers in the recurve men's group alone can claim a combined nine trips to the Olympic Games and four Olympic medals. However, as one archer commented, "there's some serious talent out there, and any one of the top eight can take on any of the other shooters. This is going to be one of the toughest teams to make in recent years. Everyone's raising their game."
Results from today's matches can be found by clicking here.
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